The NSW Parliament on strata law reform in 2011 – Final report card.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and for those of us with children, to try our hardest to make sense of those horribly obtuse report cards the little angels bring home. I love the grade, “Developing” – ever hopeful, it leaves us with a feeling that maybe we should pay the school fees again next year, because who knows?
Anyway, for those without school-aged children, to share the pain, here is my report card on the New South Wales Parliaments 2010 strata law reform efforts. The year was punctuated primarily by some new regulations on 1 September 2010 and the introduction of a private members bill on the last sitting day of the year and, mercifully, this parliament.
|Proposal to prohibit developers having an ongoing role in strata and building management||High||The Lord Mayor and Independent Member for Sydney, Clover Moore MP has an excellent knowledge and understanding of this rort by which developers suffocate the independent workings of the new owners until well after the expiration of the sales campaign for the unsold units and the expiration of the time frames for taking action on building defects. The proposal is bound to ensure developers step up their donations to any political party promising upon re-election in March 2011 to scrap this proposal.|
|Regulation introducing new by laws about hanging washing on any part of a lot not visible form street level.||Elementary||The Parliament has demonstrated here merely an elementary knowledge of what really matters in high-rise living with this token nod to the greenies while pandering to the rednecks concerned that our home unit blocks will soon resemble a Singaporean slum in the 1930’s on washing day.|
|Proposal to increase CTTT fines tenfold and allow costs to be awarded in equitable circumstances||Excellent||The Lord Mayors private members bill has achieved a very high level here by giving this important body some real teeth to punish wrongdoers and to compensate reasonable people dragged through an expensive process by the unhinged ‘Condo Commando’. If the bill had only proposed compulsory relocation to 5-acre housing estates for said CC’s, this proposal would surely have won the headmasters prize.|
|New regulations up-ing monetary restrictions on the need for two quotes for major expenditure and obtaining legal advice and tinkering with model by laws and proxy forms||Developing||The Parliament has achieved only a limited sense of understanding about the things that matter in strata land and need real reform. The Parliament should apply itself next year to more challenging matters like the buildings that should be condemned in the Eastern suburbs because of chronic and persistent failure of owners and managers to properly fund sinking funds and attend to fire and life safety orders and the termination of strata schemes to assist the unfortunates in Ku-ring-gai who have bought into new buildings on the Pacific Highway that will date faster than a safari suit did in the 70’s and will happily be torn down by the owners themselves if only they had workable laws to enable them to do so.|
|Proposal to make owners and occupiers responsible for only 2 people per bedroom in a unit||Confused / Bizarre||The role of strata management laws is to control the use of common property – the role of local government is to control the use of property. The private member should know this because she is also the Lord Mayor. This also discriminates against those with more exotic sexual preferences.|
Teacher’s comments about application to the task of strata law reform this year–
Ms Moore should not leave important tasks like strata reform laws to the last day of term. In fairness, some of her classmates may not have been playing nicely towards the end of the year causing her to be distracted in her work.
The state coalition opposition should develop a strong sense of opinion on some of these matters. The comments by the opposition fair-trading spokesman, Greg Aplin, to the Sydney Morning Herald on the private members bill were truly banal.
The NSW Labor party government should work towards developing any sense of opinion on these matters. Given that there are so many leaving the class this year, at this stage a highly developed opinion on anything would be a bridge too far. Their website and the internet is bereft of their comments on any of these matters leaving no inclination on how they might vote on these proposals when parliament resumes next year. Increasingly however, it seems no one cares.
Days Absent – too many or not enough, depending on your view?